Thursday, May 31, 2012

Joy on Stage

Lindsay had her Musical Theatre Showcase performance last night - a mini version of Thoroughly Modern Millie - and it was lovely.

What warmed my heart the most was to see her joy in performance is back.

We switched studios this year to a musical theatre only focus without competition and what a lot of fun it has been.  Lindsay was so over the competition drama and all the dance pre-requisites.....she was also smart enough to know that getting a gold medal when noone was competing against you is a hollow victory - she really wanted a more authentic experience of the theatre.  And so we gave up a beautiful studio space close to home and went to a really much less beautiful and polished space but in many ways a way more authentic theatre experience with a Broadway acclaimed instructor who has no ego, no pretension and demands hard work and flexibility and fun.

We had some concerns about the big age range in the class at first but it has turned into a huge plus as the little girls adore the big girls and the big girls got to be leaders and chaperones when needed.  There were also many weeks that they were separated into their age groups to work on pieces.

They were offered an intensive course in tap dancing which Lindsay loved - just as an extra in class - no extra time or money - just a desire to offer a well-rounded experience.

And so last night a group of varying ages of girls took to the stage with some new skills, a great short, well-prepared piece of musical theatre, a play, some great singing and dancing and SO MUCH JOY in their performance and in their friendships.

I wish there were more places children could just enjoy an art, or a sport where competition was not the focus - where the experience itself was valued for what is gives to the child intrinsically, where the pressure to perform, to have the perfect costume and make-up, or brandname equipment was not the focus.  Not all children derive pleasure from a medal or a ribbon....some just want to do these things for the joy it brings their heart and soul.
My thanks to Diana Kaarina at Broadway Edge Performing Arts Studio for her unpretentious studio, her rigorous but joyful instruction, her flexibility and skill and her obvious delight in her work and her students.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Party 15

Candy buffet for dessert and movie snacks

Watching movies

Opening gifts
How many sleeping teenagers can you spot?

Morning movies

Monday, May 28, 2012


It seems impossible that a day that happened 15 years ago can be so vividly recalled today. 

I clearly remember the first glimpse I got of the precious person we named Lindsay Erin Elizabeth Byres......

I am almost in as much awe today, as I was then, that this beautiful young woman turning 15 today is that same baby girl....I tried not to blink, I tried to drink it all in...and still feels too fast.

I feel overwhelmingly blessed that I was given this child, this girl, to mother. 

I am so proud of the young woman she is growing into. 

She has stretched me, taught me, loved me, laughed at me and with me, we have cried together, I have held her as she cried, we have ranted together and at one another, dreamed big dreams and small ones, celebrated big moments and small victories. we have had lots of adventures some planned, others not so much!  

She is so much our child, a composite of her Dad and I and yet SO much her own self....It is such a wonder to behold!

Missy Lindsay Lou - since that day 15 years ago when I counted all your fingers and all your toes I have loved ALL of you.  You are a light and a delight in my life and I am so proud of what you have made of your life this far. 

I am excited for what is ahead.

And no matter what - I will love you forever.

Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl.



Friday, May 25, 2012

And then the phone rang.......

I have had a feeling for a while now, like months actually, that change was coming.

I ignored, deflected, diverted, redirected this feeling.

I don't like change. I am a creature of habit. I love being a regular at a restaurant or store, I like the comfort of living in a place where I see people I know whenever I am out and about.

I literally break into a cold sweat at the thought of moving.....

I hasten to add this does not make me boring.....I love a good adventure just as long as all my failsafes are in place....

It's not that I don't like to rock the odd boat......I do.....if I am doing the rocking.....

Like it or changes.......sometimes as expected and in totally awesome ways.  
“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra
That is the part I could do without. The chaos, the angst.........because
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. Anatole France
So true.....there has to be a Goodbye before there can be a Hello.......

Today Allan got the phone call and was offered a chance at Hello.  And with it ends a few weeks of angst and chaos and sleepless nights.  Of second-guessing and what-iffing. Of fear and faith.

The change is here.....13 mostly wonderful years at Cambie Secondary are over and Allan will start at a new school in September......a new job, a new school community, new colleagues.

It is the right change.  It is the right time.  And though the leaving will be melancholic the fresh start will be wonderful.  

Especially wonderful for I will be the only member of my family who will not be a Wildcat!

Yup......Allan is off to teach at McMath.  He and David will start as new boys together on September 1st and Allan will teach Lindsay 2 of her 8 courses next year.

I think I will apply to chair the PAC........KIDDING!!!! I am happy they will be together and more importantly so are they.

This change, this good.  or maybe, just maybe, I am getting better at embracing change? 

I am so proud of Allan for making this hard decision and excited for what the future holds for him.
 “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” –Unknown

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Paint Smackdown Part II

Why oh why are there SO many choices?

I chose jet black.....satin finish......high end paint.

Left with my dignity intact.

And now the sun had gone and the rain has returned and my project is thwarted.......

In other news the Laundry Room Project is done....... standby for before and after pics.....

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Paint Smackdown

I am off to buy paint.......

This is what happened last time I tried to buy paint.

So light a candle, say a prayer, cross your fingers......whatever it takes.....I am not going down this time.

This time...... I need black paint.......


How hard can it be to get black paint?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Some DIY........ this weekend I am going to DIM.....Do.It.Myself.

One of the rooms I love the most in my house is the Laundry Room.

It is also the room I hate the most when "everything" gets dumped in it.

So this weekend I am gutting it, throwing a little paint on the walls, sorting, chucking things, re-organising.....

I am excited. 

I love taking on home improvement projects. 

It grounds me purpose...we often do it as a family but Allan has papers to write and marking to do so he is only available for consultation (and intervention in dire circumstances!).  The kids will pitch in, I am sure,.....with commentary and advice if nothing else!

Starting a project and finishing it is a great feeling of accomplishment. 

I am sure it won't look gorgeous all the time and we will revert to our old "dump it in the Laundry Room and close the door" ways soon enough.....

But this weekend victory over the Laundry Room will be mine

My "after" photo's will not rival these beauties (due to my lack of a large budget, a crew of professionals and an interior name a few reasons) but I am sure I will be happy can dream....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Seasons and Possibilities

As it feels a "Season" of our life is coming to a close, which grieves me, I am very comforted by the Spring, the changing of the garden outside and all the possibilities it holds.

I carry a diary, I have Google calendar on my laptop, a calendar on my iPhone........but all I need to remind of the week it was when we bought our current home is for the Rhododendron to bloom.  As we took that scary plunge into home ownership I clearly remember standing on the sidewalk taking a picture of the house (long before we moved in) and those Rhodo's were in full bloom.  Each year I enjoy the memory of that as the bud turn into flowers.

I just finished this book

It was a good read and it is, in part,  about vegetable gardening.  Our little veggie patch is doing quite well - after the water-logged misadventure that the start of last year was we are delighted with the progress so just two weeks everything is thriving.  We have had some lovely warm weather which kick-started everything (in fact the lettuce and spinach are finding it a tad warm). 

 These little pea shoots and carrot shoots (which we will have to thin out this weekend) were just seeds two weeks ago......and here they are pushing through the dark soil to the bright day.

The Garden of Happy Endings....... I am taking that as a sign for myself today that this garden and this "season" will end well.

And I just realised it is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday........oh well

Monday, May 14, 2012

Love in Action

I was so blessed yesterday by the love and hard work of my husband and kids.  I was really able to just enjoy the day without feeling I had to help.....I just let myself be taken care of (not a strong suit of mine usually).

The family was up early and the kitchen was a hive of activity and the yummy.

The baking and cooking went on until our guests and my parents arrived and an amazing brunch was served in the glorious backyard sunshine........and I stayed out there in the backyard either eating or reading or drinking tea, chatting.....just being..... until the sun went down (proved by the slightly red tint to my arms and chest today!). 

A gift of a day.  Thank you Allan, Lindsay and David for your hard work and to my parents and Jb and BB who shared it with us.

Warm Maple Walnut scones

Beautiful Table
Beautiful Day
Amazing spread shared with family and friends
My beloved family who worked so hard!

Even cheerful cleaning up!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Don't Blink

When you have small children "old" people tell you how fast they will grow up, how fast the years will fly by... yadda, yadda, yadda......

You smile politely and nod......tired from midnight feeds, sick kids, snotty noses........

You actually wonder if these "old" people have lost their minds and are suggesting you actually enjoy these sleep deprived years of chaos and craziness.

And then sudden things happen.

You look up and your kids are walking, talking, peeing in the toilet.

You give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back and enjoy an uninterrupted latte.

5 minutes later (as you are beginning to give the "old" people's words a bit of respect) you see your children walking through the school doors, playing soccer, dancing on a stage, riding bikes, doing chores, going away to summer camp, flying off to France or Alaska, cleaning their own rooms, texting you, long boarding, surfing, dating, cooking, making their own decisions.....

At this moment there is a GIGANTIC slight twinge in your heart.....this did happen awfully fast.......

And then you look at your diary and realise that in 6 weeks you will have 2 teenagers in highschool. Well almost - we do have the summer as a buffer/transition for my heart and mind.

You want to run out "there" and find those "old" people who told you this would happen and ask them why they they didn't MAKE you understand. You try to bat down the rising panic that your kids days in your home are numbered.

Literally you can count the days......on a calendar......soooooo terribly freaky.

Suddenly those kids who used to creep downstairs early on a Saturday morning to eat cheerios cuddled under a blanket on the couch and yell  "Ola" at Dora........sleep later than their parents and watch creepy sci fi shows.

It's like being hit in the face with a wet fish.....only it stinks more.......and hurts more.........

I have loved every age and stage my kids have gone through.......some a tad more than others....and it's not that I don't love that they are this age and stage.  It just feels like it happened oh too soon, too quickly and although I am sure only a mad woman would want to hold on to the teenage years, I do find myself wanting to hold onto my kids for a bit longer before we build them a house next door to live in launch them into the world.

Two teenagers in the years have flown by.

"Old" people are right.